If one Remain insult grated more than any other during the EU referendum campaign, it was the assertion that Leave voters were ‘thick’ or ‘unintelligent’.
Sometimes it was implied, other times openly voiced. And of course, much glee was taken in quoting stats showing a greater proportion of university students had voted to Remain. But if the previous 10 months has taught us anything, it’s that a university education doesn’t necessarily equate to intelligence. After all, we can’t imagine there are many non-graduates working at organisations like the IMF – yet their forecasts of economic catastrophe have been wrong time and time again.
The insult was especially nauseating given that, despite the complexities of our EU membership, we were actually being asked to vote on some pretty basic fundamentals. Whether we wanted more or less control over our sovereignty, trade, law-making and borders; and whether we wanted a stronger national identity or one increasingly diluted.
But what’s this got to do with the June 8th General Election? Well, for the first time, we now have the opportunity to put that argument to bed by sending a clear message: we know how to play the game, and we’ll outfox you every single time.
With Labour veering from calamity to calamity, the Lib Dems starting from a small base and the Scottish people growing tired of the SNP’s rhetoric, now is the perfect time to crush this so-called ‘progressive alliance’ and any Remain momentum. Whilst the Tories remain part of the Establishment, sending Theresa May to Brussels with a strong majority will give her renewed confidence that Britain is behind Brexit and strengthen her hand in the crucial negotiations to come. She’s right to say she’s faced obstacles at every turn so far (Gina Miller/unelected House of Lords spring to mind).
So it’s a moment for reflection, a moment to remind ourselves who the real enemies are, and a moment to think with our heads not our hearts. It’s a moment to put country, shaped by Brexit, firmly before party. UKIP’s impact on British politics has been monumental – had it not been for them winning the European elections and then attracting 4 million votes in 2015, we wouldn’t have had a referendum in the first place. But politics is a murky, cynical game (how often do we deride Labour voters for their obsessive-like devotion to their party) and while UKIP was the vehicle to force the referendum, the Conservative Party is now the vehicle to deliver it.
Are you really willing to risk Brexit by splitting the Tory vote? A week is a long time in politics and, despite the ‘progressive alliance’ seemingly in a mess, we’ve seen where complacency has led before. Remember we still have some of the most powerful and wealthy dark forces fighting against Brexit so nothing can be taken for granted.
In very safe Labour (is there such a thing?) or Tory seats a vote for UKIP is sensible to push the national percentage share up and pressurise the Tories. But in seats with slim majorities, especially where a pro-Brexit Tory is standing, it would be political insanity not to vote blue. And early indications suggest the Remain insult could come back to haunt them – 61% of over 600 UKIP voters responding to our Twitter poll said they were intending to vote tactically for the Tories.
Yet still many ‘loyal’ Kippers seem quick to forget that much of its wider support base comes from Conservative swing-voters and that, essentially, we’re all on the same side here. Sadly some are peddling fears that May’s larger majority will mean she can negotiate a ‘softer’ Brexit. Given that the Tories were pushed into this situation in the first place by the groundswell of euroscepticism and desire to control immigration, there’s simply no evidence to support this claim. May has traditionally always been quite eurosceptic, took very much a backseat during the referendum campaign, and since becoming Prime Minister has been absolutely defiant about what the British people voted for. Regrettably we’ve also seen the unprofessional and spiteful side of UKIP in some quarters, with one instance of a UKIP membership secretary blocking voters on Facebook who had expressed a desire to vote tactically. We’ve seen his supporters calling other UKIP supporters “traitors” and “turncoats” for daring to do so which is so counterproductive it’s barely believable.
People need to stop, think, and look at the bigger picture. Our immediate enemies are the progressive, metropolitan Blairites of this election who wish to rip up the very mandate the British public set down last year. And to those who say: “May will break her promise on immigration…” we say give her the opportunity to fulfil the commitments she has made and if she does fail on major ‘red lines’ voters will flock in their droves back to UKIP or another such party.
Nigel Farage thought long and hard about whether to run for Parliament when, as he says in his own words, a long-held ambition of his would have been to secure a seat as a Member of Parliament. But, thankfully, he decided that his talents would be better served in Brussels where the EU negotiations are taking place rather than on a backbench. And, in a similar vein, we hope all Brexiteers think carefully about their individual decision and where their vote can be most effective to deliver the end goal. At this point in time, only the Tories can deliver Brexit and we’ll all be closely watching when they do.
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain